Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The End of Breastfeeding

I think yesterday was my last day breastfeeding. And I'm horribly depressed about it.

My antibiotics finished on Friday, and I was all ready to resume breastfeeding. I missed it. I know I probably sound like a broken record, but I love the close bond I have with her when I nurse her. Sure, it would have eventually come to an end, probably around 6-8 months, which was my goal. She is 4 1/2 months now, so it's not like it's that far off.

But I'm just not ready.

Yesterday I resumed bfing her. She ate wonderfully at 10 a.m. I think she quite got her fill, because she was happy as a clam until 2 p.m. At that feeding, however, she was not having it. She was getting all kinds of frustrated having to work so hard since my supply has plummeted. So I supplemented with a bottle of formula (which she practically snatched out of my hand to shove in her mouth as soon as it got near her).

But that's not the problem. I know I can deal with supply issues. I can shove fenugreek capsules down my throat and pump away and know that my supply will eventually regulate itself. But I have to stop bfing her for my own health, and it's making me so uneasy.

My arthritis pain has gotten so out of hand in the last month and a half that it's quite scary. I can hardly walk. Forget bending at the knees, or running upstairs to fetch something with ease, or even curling my toes. I'm still getting fevers and feeling physically drained. After seeing some doctors, they all advise I go on this medication called methotrexate, which is freaking me out. Probably because it's a form of chemotherapy, and my mind goes "there". It's naturally a smaller dose, but it still has side effects, one of which is fatigue the day after the drug is taken (the dosage is once a week). And then I have to get bloodwork done every couple of weeks. This is pretty much my only option, because all the other arthritis drugs have lymphoma as a side effect (fml).

I'm sorry but I just don't want to feel like a patient anymore! I don't want to have to be in and out of dr's offices for the rest of my life like this. I want to feel NORMAL just like everyone else. I want to take care of my daughter and provide her with everything she needs. I just feel like a failure. The only thing keeping me going is that there is a little voice inside of me saying that the best way to take care of her is to take care of myself (ok, that voice may just be my mom and DH). I want to be able to run around and chase her when she gets mobile, and be able to take her on long walks without limping. I just wish I didn't have to rely on some scary pills for that (that I'm honestly not even 100% positive will fix me).

And I know this also sounds silly, but I feel like the end of breastfeeding = the reality that my baby girl is growing up. It's the end of this newborn phase (OK she hasn't been a newborn for a while now, I get it), and she's going to be a toddler before I know it. She doesn't have to rely on me for everything now. Anyone can feed her now. I'm probably selfish for wanting to be the only one who could provide her with everything she needs. I just always imagined that everything would happen on MY terms, but time is moving so fast, and I can't stop her from growing up. It's such a strange feeling to be torn between wanting her to stay little like this forever and at the same time feeling like I can't wait to see her walk and have real conversations with her and take her places where she'll have actual memories at. Motherhood can be so painful.

Anyway, thanks for reading, and thank you for your support. I'm sure in light of all the problems I'm having I seem ridiculous for caring so much about going to formula... but, um, in all fairness, poop on formula = holy crap!!! - but that's enough to warrant a whole separate post.


Mrs. D said...

I am SO SO sorry that you have to stop breastfeeding for such an awful reason. I'm also SO sorry that you're going through this crappy stuff. I can't imagine being in so much pain all the time. I pray that you will start feeling better really soon & that the meds don't keep you down :(

I've also had to quit breastfeeding. And while I'm taking fenugreek & pumping constantly to give her breast milk, it's still not the same as having her nuzzled against my chest ;) So I definitely know how you feel in that aspect, but at least you made it 4.5 months!!

Anonymous said...

Oh Lexi, I understand how you feel. Its not easy when its not on your terms. 4.5 months is better than nothing though right?

I hope you start feeling better soon. I was worried about you this weekend. I pray things turn around for you soon.

I know im half way around the country, but If I can do anything for you...I will!


Mama Fee said...

Thanks for sharing! I understand you being sad about breastfeeding. Like you said though, she needs a healthy mommy! I have to get my gall bladder out and I keep putting it off because I don't want to stop but I need to feel better for her. Same Boat.

Hope you feel better! :)

Jill said...

I am sorry you have to stop, but I saw something on Discovery Health a few months back, it was about new moms, postpartum, mommy guilt, etc... The doctor said this:

Mom is #1
Marriage is #2
Baby is #3

Sounds weird, but it makes sense if you think about it. If mom doesn't take care of herself properly, she isn't going to be at her best for the baby. If your marriage is failing or you are fighting with your spouse that too isn't good for the baby, although I think only the first part applies to you.

Hang in there. Mommy guilt sucks. I only lasted one month breastfeeding, I gave it up because I had too many emotions going on, I wasn't in a good place and I wasn't at my best to be a good mom for my baby. We started formula and never looked back once.

Kimberly said...

I am so sorry for everything that you are going through! Because you are so worried about all of this proves how good of a mom that you are. It is for sure harder on the mom than it is on the baby when you stop breastfeeding. I hope everything works good with this new medication. If you ever need to talk or need a babysitter let me know. Reid and I would love a playdate with Gigi.